A Glendale man who allegedly obtained 3,000 nude and semi-nude photos of as many as 350 women was arrested today in what feds are calling online “sextortion.”
Prosecutors in L.A. say Karen “Gary” Kazaryan hacked into victims' Facebook accounts, convinced them he was a female friend, persuaded them to pose semi-nude for him, then used the threat of making those photos public to get raunchier poses out of them:
A statement from the U.S. Attorney's Office in L.A. says the 27-year-old was charged in an indictment with …
… 15 counts of computer intrusion and 15 counts of aggravated identity theft.
He was being arraigned in federal court today, according to prosecutors.
They say Kazaryan followed through on his threats when he didn't get what he wanted, posting nude and semi-nude photos of uncooperative victims on Facebook.
The suspect sometimes used Skype to get the victims to show him their breasts, feds said.
Here's the U.S. Attorney's summary of its allegations:
According to the indictment, Kazaryan gained unauthorized access to – in other words, hacked into – the victims' accounts, and changed the passwords, which locked victims out of their own online accounts. Once he controlled the accounts, Kazaryan searched emails or other files for naked or semi-naked pictures of the victims, as well as other information, such as passwords and the names of their friends. Using that information, Kazaryan posed online as women, sent instant messages to their friends, and persuaded the friends to remove their clothing so that he could view and take pictures of them.
When the victims discovered that they were not speaking with their friends, Kazaryan often extorted them again, using the photos he had fraudulently obtained to again coerce the victims to remove their clothing on camera.
If he's convicted on all counts, prosecutors say Kazaryan could face a whopping 105 years behind bars.